Eve Flanigan 06.03.22
The Torsion holster from Bravo Concealment has been my go-to inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster for many years. During the transition to IWB carry, I tried, and in some cases wore out, at least five other holsters before settling on this one. But now, I’m happily making a bit of a change.
Bravo Concealment, a family-owned operation based in Texas, is a little late to the party on the “wing” trend with IWB Kydex holsters. But I’ve noticed when this company makes a change, it’s a safe bet. The wing is a concept for which the era of wide acceptance has come.
What’s a wing, you may ask. Also called a “claw” by another major brand, a wing is simply an extension of the holster’s profile on the bottom side, if the bottom is defined as the part that would be rearmost when the gun is worn on the side or front of the waist. It’s used under the waistband and is exclusive to IWB holsters. In every example I know of wing-enhanced holster-wearing, the holster is mounted somewhere between 9:30 and 12 o’clock (with the navel as the 12:00 position) for a left-handed shooter, or between 12 o’ clock and 2:30 on right-handed shooters.
Why have a wing? In short, better concealment. Those who have tried IWB carry under a shirt or blouse know that, most often, the grip of the pistol is the part that most often contributes to “printing,” that telltale bump that might tell an observer, “hey, there’s a gun right here.” The primary purpose of concealing a gun, after all, is to avoid drawing attention while maintaining the ability to exert deadly force if necessary.
How does a wing enhance concealment? It’s counterintuitive to think that adding a chunk of Kydex inside one’s pants or skirt would result in less visibility. But it’s the angles that matter, and the wing changes them. Its placement physically pushes the grip closer to the wearer’s body, effecting a trimmer visual profile. It’s a little bit of civil engineering applied to self-protection, about as advantageous to IWB carry as deceleration and merge lanes are to highway driving: you don’t have to have them, but wow, does it make the experience nicer!
Bravo Concealment’s Torsion holster is, even sans wing, molded in such a way as to minimize printing. I have enjoyed this holster in part because I like quick, easy gear and detest fussing too much with any clothing. The Torsion won me over when I came to understand I could remove one of its two clips and get by comfortably with a single belt clip that fastens in a second. I always test the draw upon donning the holster to ensure the clip is secure around my belt. A great advantage of this setup for short-waisted me in comparison to wider holsters, including the Torsion itself with two belt clips, is that the gun automatically rotates slightly toward center when I sit or squat. That has the much-appreciated effect of not being poked (or even blistered) on the thigh by the muzzle end of the holster as most IWB systems do to me, even with subcompact guns. The Torsion has made it possible to carry a gun in nearly all my waking hours. A gun that’s left behind in the car or in a safe at home cannot defend anyone—a logical observation, but the fans of complacency in the gun-owning community are many so I feel the need to say it here.
Bravo sells the wing as a separate accessory, at least for now. With a brand-new Torsion holster, wing attachment, and my old Torsion on hand, I had the perfect opportunity to compare. The wing does add just a little more than an inch of width to the rig, but it’s on the underside of the trigger guard and within the “V” of the trigger guard/grip, so that new bulk is pretty much hidden. Since the wing is installed on top of the clip and shares the same two attachment holes which secure it to the holster shell, it also adds about 0.20 inches of thickness to the profile where the clip is located. I cannot help but wonder if a later edition of the wing might be a single integral clip/wing rather than layers.
None of that added bulk mattered when I installed the winged Torsion onto my belt. The grip is pushed comfortably into my body, yet I can still obtain a firing grip with no problem. Especially on a small gun, and for any gun that may need to be drawn fast, the ability to close the middle finger around the grip as high as possible while the gun is still holstered is important. The Torsion allows a rapid, solid draw, and the wing does not impede it.
But what of the two-clip system? I tried the winged Torsion with two clips at first. It was okay, but sitting and squatting still resulted in thigh-poking, and the rig felt a bit too unyielding as I moved around. It didn’t take me long to remove the non-essential (above-the-slide) clip. The moment I installed the one-clip, winged Torsion, I knew that would be how I carry from now into the foreseeable future. The grip is remarkably better-concealed, so much that I now have the option of carrying at the 12 o’clock position where shirts are less clingy and thus I can wear the close-fitting tees I’d relegated to only wearing under other garments .
I’m thrilled to have found an even more comfortable yet accessible way to conceal when I thought the Torsion alone was my optimal setup. Everyone’s body is different, and what works for me won’t work for everyone. At least for fellow small- and medium-framed folk who are willing to wear a gun belt, I feel the Torsion with a wing is very much worthy of consideration if your gun is one of the popular models for which Bravo makes holsters. The Torsion checks the safety boxes of shielding the trigger guard and retaining the gun extremely well. It offers easy access except under excess winter layers. See Bravoconcealment.com for information. Torsion holsters are $34.99; wing attachments are $14.99. Sales and bundle deals are frequent, and the company is known for backing up their satisfaction and construction guarantees.
A word on safety: IWB, or any concealed carry for that matter, should not be done with a loaded gun until the user keeps his/her fingers out of the trigger guard as an infallible habit. Never forget that the act of inserting a gun into a holster is the source of most unintended injuries related to handguns. Those injuries are preventable. Safe gun handling habits are developed only through frequent, habitual use of safe handling practices and strict avoidance of unsafe handling. No book study, video class, or legislation can replace the physical practice of safe, competent gun handling.
Much appreciation to Minus 33 for the Woolverino tank, which has become another go-to under body armor–who’d have thought wool would be easier in 100-degree temps than “athletic wear?” To the growing population of gun people who think tactical pants are a veritable crime to wear in public, they’re what my work calls for and therefor what I end up wearing to town. You do you; I’ll do what works for me.